• Margaret Reid, Matthew Johnstone, Vanessa Carlin and Virginia Hansen

    Margaret Reid, Matthew Johnstone, Vanessa Carlin and Virginia Hansen

  • Emily and Georgina Phelps

    Emily and Georgina Phelps

  • Jane Halton and Finn Pratt

    Jane Halton and Finn Pratt

  • Maurice Reilly, Paul Walshe and Allan Williams

    Maurice Reilly, Paul Walshe and Allan Williams

  • Hannah Porter and Cathy Bryson

    Hannah Porter and Cathy Bryson

  • Franco Calabria

    Franco Calabria

  • James Service and Martin Beaver

    James Service and Martin Beaver

  • Brendan Smyth and James Willson

    Brendan Smyth and James Willson

  • Alan Thompson

    Alan Thompson

  • Guest Speaker, Matthew Johnstone

    Guest Speaker, Matthew Johnstone

  • Matthew Johnstone

    Matthew Johnstone

  • John Mackay and Manny Notaras

    John Mackay and Manny Notaras

  • John and Colette Mackay and Adele Jones

    John and Colette Mackay and Adele Jones

  • Karen Gair and Theresa Orme

    Karen Gair and Theresa Orme

  • James Manning, Norm Korte, Amanda Manning and James Watson

    James Manning, Norm Korte, Amanda Manning and James Watson

  • Craig Sloan with Kate and Col Alexander

    Craig Sloan with Kate and Col Alexander

  • Chris Hansen, Hugo Ellwood and Jeremy Reardon

    Chris Hansen, Hugo Ellwood and Jeremy Reardon

  • Belinda Kenyon, Suzanne O'Connor, Jane Pettersen and Todd Wills

    Belinda Kenyon, Suzanne O'Connor, Jane Pettersen and Todd Wills

  • Rodney and Michelle Black

    Rodney and Michelle Black

  • Adrian and Diane Kargas

    Adrian and Diane Kargas

  • Cindy Young, Dot Barclay and Judy Waters

    Cindy Young, Dot Barclay and Judy Waters

  • Paul Stevens, Julienne Clunies-Ross, Helen Stevens, Diana Lipscombe, Koula Notaras and Adrian Clunies-Ross

    Paul Stevens, Julienne Clunies-Ross, Helen Stevens, Diana Lipscombe, Koula Notaras and Adrian Clunies-Ross

Affirm 2015 Business Executive Lunch

12 October 2015

Affirm is the Australian Foundation for Mental Health Research with at its helm as Chair Margaret Reid and as her deputy the lady she defers to as the driving force behind the success of the organisation, Virginia Hansen. Supported by a board with an eclectic mix of locals with their fingers on the pulse of this community, Affirm works to make a difference into the research, community acknowledgement of the needs and the pursuit of solutions for an illness that will affect 1 in 5 Australians, using a supportive network of business and the local community to raise much needed money.

The annual Executive Business Lunch, sponsored by EY, is a significant part of their fundraising and this year the numbers had grown as had the generosity of supporters, so they were happily busting at the seams for a lunch we all look forward to, not just to support but to hear of the research advances, and hear the chosen guest speaker, Matthew Johnstone.

It was in 2005 that Johnstone published his illustrated guide, Living with a Black Dog, about his long time battle with depression and today his extensive speaking work is about mindfulness, work life balance, mental health and well being with his insightful illustrations and wise words presented in a way we all understand. Scratch the surface of most people and their will be an incident, a connection or an episode we would now call a mental illness in their lives. That we talk more openly and with genuine compassion is a major advance in breaking down the barriers and erasing the stigma to get on with treatment as soon as possible. And while we are confronted daily with different needs in the area of mental illness, with many situations exacerbated by drugs and alcohol, the whole of government approach with services, health care, support and research is the only way to deal with it.

The 1 in 5 statistic is a formidable slice of the population, and it’s going to impact us all when we least expect it.